Is Aleksander Barkov playing tonight vs Edmonton Oilers? Latest update on Panthers captain's Game 3 status (June 13)

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Edmonton Oilers at Florida Panthers
Is Aleksander Barkov playing tonight vs Edmonton Oilers?

Aleksander Barkov suffered a significant injury in the Florida Panthers' Game 2 win, putting his status for the third game of the Stanley Cup Final in doubt. After a positive development and another day of rest, the captain is expected to play on June 13.

Head coach Paul Maurice offered a positive update according to reporter Jameson Olive. Barkov and fellow injured star Vladimir Tarasenko will both be on the ice tonight. They may be banged up, but they're going to play with the hope of extending their series lead.

The series shifts as the Edmonton Oilers will host the Panthers now. Losing Barkov for this game could have been a major challenge for Florida to overcome, but they will be mostly healthy for Game 3.

Maurice had previously said that Barkov hadn't gotten worse following his exit from Game 2. Leon Draisatl laid a hit on the center which forced him out of the game. The head coach noted then that the biggest test would be gameday, which is today.

Barkov continued to improve and will not be held out of the lineup. The Oilers, who are looking to reverse their luck from the first two games, will not catch a break in that regard.


Leon Draisatl won't be suspended for Aleksander Barkov hit

Though Leon Draisatl did get a two-minute minor for roughing Aleksander Barkov, that is the extent of his punishment. The NHL's player safety board reviews all hits, and they took a closer look at Draisatl's after Barkov left the game.

Leon Draisatl faces no punishment for Aleksander Barkov hit
Leon Draisatl faces no punishment for Aleksander Barkov hit

They determined that it was not worth a fine or a suspension. Since Aleksander Barkov is healthy enough to be on the ice again tonight, neither team will be missing a player from that Game 2 interaction.

Kris Knoblauch said via ESPN about the hit:

"I think he went in there to hit. His hands got up a little bit high. He was trying to knock him off the puck and that led to the penalty."

The league reportedly took Barkov's status into account when determining Draisatl's punishment. Had Barkov been sidelined for a while, they might have not been so lenient on the Oilers star.

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Edited by John Maxwell
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